Kramtones (Harlan Mark Vale) and I did this through the U.S. Postal Service; heavy modern electronics destined to stay at the top of your playlists for a long TIME!
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December 11, 2011
Nowsterday Zzaj and Kramtones Dick Metcalf, Mark Vale (synthesizers) By Jack Gold
Zzaj and Kramtones
Dick Metcalf, Mark Vale (synthesizers)
By Jack Gold
Electronic beats, keys, organ, and synthesizer create hypnotic trance music at a medium tempo to open the disc with the track “Diagramming The Departure.” The rhythms become increasingly complex underlying electronic sounds that take the listener into a kind of surreal dream state. There is a feeling of being at ease but with slight unrest—like something could happen akin to falling off the edge of the world. The feeling of edginess becomes agitation as the music progresses through straight ahead, albeit slightly complex, rhythms into the fourth tune and the music becomes less tense. Surrealism is more prevalent and the name of this tune, “African Landscapes,” makes me think of the tragedies taking place in Africa —extreme poverty, war and violence, AIDS, government corruption —as well as the beauty and all that Africa has given to the rest of the world…given of what hasn’t been taken forcibly. One thinks about how Africa’s current state reflects upon the west—historically westerners have caused their suffering, and western nations are being blamed for the world’s current violent state as well. The music continues, slow and surreal, colors in sound moving through a dark void like being deep inside a cave. The feeling of being on edge escalates almost into paranoia, a symptom of a larger problem. Echoes cause deep reflection, not of meaning, but of what has taken place in the world—what has gone before us, what is happening now, and one asks, “What about the future?” It is as blatantly clear as getting a speeding ticket. Metcalf and Vale know what they want to say musically and their driving surrealism leaves the listener with the sense that we, the human race, are accountable whether we can face it or not. Lyrical without words, their vision becomes increasingly clear, and with thoughtful listening it is painful to recognize one’s own ignorance and stupidity.